Analysis: Rafael Leao could be available on a cut-price deal – should Real Madrid make a move?

Real Madrid could be in store for a busy summer transfer window. Jude Bellingham continues to be the club’s top target, although they will face competition for his signature from Manchester City and Liverpool.

Fran Garcia is expected to re-sign from Rayo Vallecano, three years after he moved from Los Blancos to Vallecas. He is expected to battle with Ferland Mendy to be first choice left back in the first team squad.

A forward may also be targeted, and several names have been linked – the most high profile being Erling Haaland. However, it remains to be seen whether Man City decide to let their star striker leave, just one season after he joined from Borussia Dortmund.

One option that has emerged is Rafael Leao. The AC Milan forward sees his contract at the Italian giants expire at the end of next season, and a renewal has yet to be closed. Fichajes speculate that the Portuguese international could be available for €60m, as Milan contemplate cashing in on him.

Leao is considered to be one of the most exciting players in Europe. In 25 Serie A appearances so far, he has eight goals and six assists, although he has been unable to help Milan retain their league crown, with Napoli running away with things at the top.

Although Leao naturally plays as a left winger, which would mean that he’d likely have to play second fiddle to Vinicius Jr, there is scope for him playing as a central striker.

He is an excellent dribbler of the ball, and he can use his power to get the better of defenders when driving towards goal or battling for crosses. At 6’2, he is able to be a target man when needed. Furthermore, he possesses explosive pace, which would allow him to effective link up with the likes of Vinicius and Rodrygo.

Being aged 23, Leao would fit into Real Madrid’s transfer policy on signing younger players to develop in the first team. With the likes of Endrick, as well as the possibility of Haaland and/or Kylian Mbappe joining, Real Madrid could have a dangerous forward line for years to come, and Leao would be able to contribute effectively.

At €60m, it is likely to be the cheapest that Leao will be available for many years, and if that is indeed his price, Real Madrid would be foolish to miss out on a player like him.

Much would depend on where he would be played, because he’s too good of a player to play second fiddle to Vinicius, and he wouldn’t be cheap to just be a backup anyway.

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